Pilot 'teach first'-style planning initive to launch in autumn

A pilot scheme for a 'teach first' style programme to embed talented young placemaking professionals in local authorities could be up and running by the autumn, according to a report by the co-founder of a recently-established collective of public sector planners.

London: pilot will launch in the capital
London: pilot will launch in the capital

Finn Williams is one of the organisers of NOVUS, a collective of public sector planners affiliated to the Planning Officers Society (POS).

His report on the Public Service initiative says it would build on recommendations in the Farrell Review to attract and retain talented individuals at council planning departments.

"Public Service would build a national pool of skills and expertise to grow the public sector’s capacity to deliver homes; support collaborative planning and sharing of resources across authorities; and develop a new generation of public place makers committed to working with communities to shape better places.

"It would do this by offering public authorities hand-picked, highly motivated and specially trained PLACE professionals for flexible placements at affordable rates, subsidised through private sector support", the report says.

PLACE is the acronym used in the Farrell Review to bring together the professions of planning, landscape, architecture, conservation, and engineering. Williams’ report also takes it to include urban design and regeneration.

The report says a pilot placement scheme is currently being developed with the Greater London Authority, in consultation with London boroughs.

"It is anticipated that a recruitment campaign will be run in Autumn 2015 to select an initial cohort of 3-6 place making experts for secondments of 3-12 months to London boroughs. Partner boroughs will be selected through an open call for expressions of interest", the document says.

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